Landlords fight for renters in Halifax's apartment glut

New apartments are popping up in Bedford, but landlords say there aren't enough people to fill them so they’re relying on creative tactics to compete for renters.

Average rent is still expected to climb

iPad? Dental care? Halifax landlords are using some creative tactics to get people into these Bedford apartments. (CBC)

New apartments are popping up in Bedford, but landlords say there aren't enough people to fill them, so they’re relying on creative tactics to compete for renters.

Killam Properties landlord Jeremy Jackson recently opened a new apartment building in Bedford. It has a full-sized gym and an in-house movie theatre, but he says it’s tough to attract renters.

"You have to work very hard at it as a landlord these days," said Jackson.

Some landlords are throwing in iPads, televisions, free yoga and even discounts at the dentist.

About 1,500 rental units are sitting empty in Halifax and more apartment units are going up.

"With that increase in supply, we're expecting to see vacancy rates climb in the next year or two," said Tim Andrews, market analyst with Canada Mortgage and Housing.

Still, the growing vacancy rate isn't having a big impact on price.

Andrews said the average rent is still expected to climb by two to three per cent in the next few years.

Home sales

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia's real estate sector continues to deal with declining sales. According to the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors, home sales dropped by five per cent during the August-to-October period compared to the same three months last year.

The average price of a home in Nova Scotia is $206,525, up by one per cent.

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